Accounting Veteran and Technology Leader Makes his Home at LAS and LCW
Building a Bridge Between the Frum World and the Corporate One
As an established leader and successful professional, Yossef Newman came back to the place where it all began.
Brooklyn-born Newman began his work life with an internship at DE Shaw during his final semester as a student at Lander College of Arts and Sciences (LAS) in Flatbush. He recalled his own time at Touro as being surrounded by supportive, driven and academically successful peers. “It was a good chevra,” he acknowledged. “Everyone has gone on to be successful—either as professionals in business or in the yeshiva and rabbinic world.”
Newman stressed the practicality of the education he received at LAS. During his interview for DE Shaw, an interviewer threw out a series of highly technical questions on a very specific topic. As it turned out, the topic had been covered very thoroughly by his instructor at LAS, including practical tips and approaches that allowed him to answer these focused questions with accuracy and confidence.
Newman eventually left DE Shaw to accept a position at Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. After gaining experience within the audit practice at Deloitte, Newman was drawn to the opportunities he saw in the emerging field of data analytics and transferred to Deloitte’s national office where he joined a research and development team focused on accounting and auditing technology. While at the national office, Newman progressed through the corporate ranks and was promoted to audit director in 2008. One of his Touro classmates, Chaim Hershkowitz had returned to teach accounting at the college and reached out to Newman to see if he wanted to teach a class. Citing his busy work life, Newman declined.
In 2013 he left Deloitte to join a colleague in founding a boutique data analytics consulting firm. The initial focus of his consulting work was on accounting and financial data within government and the not-for-profit sector. With the ability to make his own schedule, he finally took up Professor Hershkowitz’s offer. His first class was on government accounting, just the field that his firm was specializing in. Teaching came naturally to Newman, as a recognized leader in his field, he was used to speaking in front of crowds, large and small.
While he attained no shortage of professional success during his career, Newman says that teaching at Touro grants him another sort of fulfillment: that of helping his community.
“I see myself in many of my students,” stated Newman, who teaches classes at LAS and Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School (LCW). “I can relate to their experiences, both those they have already had as well as those they are likely to face as they move forward professionally. It allows me to share my experiences with them and enable their successes going forward.”
He says the highlight of his teaching career occurs outside of the classroom, in the innumerable one-on-one sessions he has with his students, usually after class ends. He functions as a conduit, helping his students transition into the professional world and preparing them to navigate the occasionally challenging experiences they may face in the corporate sphere.
Ari Schlussel, 22, of Lawrence, who is studying accounting at LAS, said he called Newman on his cell-phone for a quick accounting question; he ended up talking with him for an hour about life. “He’s such a nice guy,” said Schlussel. “He is just so full of information.”
“He’s really helpful,” said LCW student Yael Parkoff who had an internship last summer at Deloitte. “Anything he can do to help us, he does.”
While taking the initial step to teach at Touro was a big commitment Newman says that “it has been more rewarding” than he could have imagined. In fact, instead of limiting or decreasing his teaching load over the years he chose to increase it. He became a full professor of accounting in LAS and LCW this year.
“For decades, Touro has had a solid business program,” Newman said. “We have quality courses taught by professionals with world-class experience. The only thing we lack are distractions.”